The Fall

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The Fall

Release Date: May 9
Director: Tarsem Singh
Writers: Dan Gilroy, Nico Soultanakis, Singh
Cinematographer: Colin Watkinson
Starring: Lee Pace, Catinca Untaru
Studio/Run Time: Roadside Attractions, 116 mins.

The Fall’s story falls flat

Shot in nearly 30 countries, this exotic globetrot deserves to land director Tarsem Singh his own American Express commercial.

But movies that look this good don’t come cheap. He also revels in the sort of unabashed visual splendor that really only thrived on old-time Hollywood backlots. Not so coincidentally, the narrative that sets the film in motion concerns a 1920s actor (Lee Pace) who has been hospitalized with a broken leg after a stunt goes wrong. Heartbroken over a breakup, he befriends another patient, a curious little girl (the charming, yet disturbingly precocious Catinca Untaru), by making up an episodic fairy tale about noble thieves and star-crossed lovers. Really, what he wants is for the girl to steal him enough morphine so he can kill himself. And so, with each new twist in the tale–visualized in sweeping fantasy sequences–they both move closer to a terrible moment, somewhere between naively assisted suicide and accidental pedophilia. For all his epic pretense, rock-video veteran Singh (“Losing My Religion”) devotes far more energy to settings and costumes than his putative subject (storytelling). It’s a draggy pastiche of Alejandro Jodoworsky’s Holy Mountain and One Thousand and One Nights.